Vast Autism 1-core

Video Assisted Speech Technology

Introducing a new therapy technique that is producing remarkable results for individuals with autism and motor speech disorders such as apraxia. The VAST technique was originally pioneered at the Stroke Comeback Center and has been instrumental in helping stroke patients, “find their voice.”

The VAST technique was adapted to fit the needs of students with autism after witnessing the profound effect the VAST videos have with individuals on the spectrum. Two highly effective modes of learning, video modeling and visual language (literacy), are combined with auditory cues to support the acquisition of spoken language for individuals with autism and motor speech disorders. Initial pilot studies have produced impressive results for both non-verbal students and individuals with emerging verbal language. Many students who were essentially non-verbal are now able to produce words and phrases. At the very least, students are focusing their attention on the articulators (mouth) when communicating verbally.

We are actively seeking comments, questions input to continue making this product as valuable as possible in supporting speech in apraxic students with autism. Look for future updates based on user comments and ongoing research.

Available at the App store

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Autism Hangout

I was pleased to be on Autism Hangout once again. Craig and I spoke about my newly released book “Speech in Action”. We covered a little bit on how the book came to be as well as how to best use it and how the activities found within can be incorporated into everyday live events.

During our conversation a video I produced for “Speech in Action” was briefly discussed and played. I have included the video in its entirety below in a larger viewing screen.

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Speech in Action

Interactive Activities Combining Speech Language Pathology and Adaptive Physical Education

Children particularly those on the autism spectrum, are able to acquire communication skills much more easily when their learning incorporates movement. Even very simple actions such as tapping and hand clapping can have a noticeable impact on their speech and language development.

Speech in Action is an innovative approach to learning that combines simple techniques from speech and language pathology with physical exercises that have been carefully designed to meet the individual child’s particular needs and abilities. This particle workbook describes the approach, how it works, and contains ninety fully photocopiable lesson plans packed with fun and creative ideas for getting both mouth and body moving.

This will be a useful resource for teachers, occupational therapists, and other professionals who work with children with delayed communication skills, as well as parents and caregivers who would like to support their child’s speech and language development at home.

Buy your copy now

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The Bridge School Open Access Fair

Over the past weekend I attended the Bridge School’s open access fair held at the San Francisco State University (SFSU) campus. These fairs allow you to intermingle with professionals, peers, children and parents to share information and personal experiences while getting hands on time with the latest in Assistive Technology (AT) and augmentative & alternative means of communication (AAC) devices.

Present at the fair were various state-of-the art assistive devices along with specialized software, equipment and adapted toys and games. Collectively this hardware and software encourage learning, participation and communication.

I was pleasantly surprised to see staff members of the Bridge School sporting iPads. Although new to them staff members were excited and encouraged over the success of these devices in the short period of time they had used them.

I have been using the iTouch and the iPad for the past three years and have personally seen amazing results when used with the proper app. So, when an institution like the Bridge School starts to use them it not only encourages me but affirms that I have been in the right track.

My colleagues and I were more than thrilled to be able to share the information we have gathered the past 3 years using both the iPad and iTouch. We talked Apps, we talked accessories but most of all we talked about children and the success achieved using the iPad and iTouch. It was a wonderful and encouraging day.

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